1 — Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
- It is a normal day. Christ is teaching in the temple. People come to listen. But what happens to destroy this peace that they are experiecing?
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
- Where did the pharisees bring this woman? Jesus was teaching where? It was in the temple. Today’s equivalent? It’s the Church.
- What would you do if a church leader brought a woman half naked, caught in adultery, right into church and threw her there at the very front of church? Wrong place, wrong time right?
These men caught this woman in the very act! Were they waiting there just to catch this woman? Or finding anyone who could be caught in adultery just to bring them before Jesus? Rather than helping, they were looking to condemn. Wrong attitude already! They had no love or compassion for this woman. Just out to destroy her.
If this woman was caught in the very act, where was the man? Did they just let the man go? Did they know this man? Were they plotting with him?
- John 8:5-6
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 — This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him…
- What was the reason for bringing this woman? They wanted to trap Jesus.
- How would they be able to accuse Christ?
- If Jesus agreed with them that she should be stoned, He would be defying the authority of the Romans – only they could condemn someone to death.
- If Jesus didn’t agree with her being stoned, then He is going against the law of Moses.
- Seemed like a lose-lose situation for Jesus. Caught between a rock and a hard place.
How does Jesus reply? Or how does He react?
- John 8:6-7
6 — This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
- At first response, Jesus seems to just ignore them. He just writes on the ground as if He didn’t hear them. Sometimes it is better to just remain quiet at first.
- But they continued to ask Him. How did Jesus respond? He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. Right after that, He continues to write on the ground.
- That is a high claim. If you are without sin, then you can throw the first stone. He didn’t really say yes and go against the Romans. And He didn’t say no either. WISE answer!
And that day, no one threw a stone. No one was without sin! No one could judge. Of course Jesus could because He was without sin.
After Jesus said that, He continued writing. What was He writing?
- Before we get to the what, let’s have a look at this situation of Jesus writing. Bible doesn’t record Jesus really writing anything. And even here, it is in sand – would be blown away and no record anymore.
But what does the finger represent? Especially the finger of God?
- Pssalms 8:3
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
- The finger of God was involved with creation.
- Exodus 31:18
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
- The 10 commandments was written with the finger of God.
- Matthew 12:28
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
- The power of the Holy Spirit is used to cast our devils. How is this connected to the finger of God?
- Luke 11:20
But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
- The Holy Spirit is called the finger of God!
- So now we know how the finger of God was involved in Creation – it was the Holy Spirit.
- So the finger of God represents judgment – with it God wrote the 10 commandments. And the finger of God represents also the Holy Spirit.
Jesus – writing in the sand with His finger. He is judging them. The Holy Spirit is working through Him to judge those standing there, to convict them. Look at what happens!
- John 8:9
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
- What happened? Jesus didn’t say anything. They come to look. They get convicted by their conscience. Guess who works in the conscience? The Holy Spirit!
What’s very interesting:
- They leave one by one. Beginning where? From oldest to youngest! That wasn’t luck.
- What was Jesus doing? He was writing the sins of each person on the sand. How merciful Jesus is – not writing their sins on stone. He writes there liar! Adulterer! Wife beater! The specific sins of each person there that came to condemn the woman. And one by one, they all leave in perfect age according to age.
- Just in case they thought themselves without sin. Maybe they were self-deceived thinking one of them could throw a stone at the woman. So before anyone has the opportunity to Jesus’ statement – he that is without sin can throw a stone at her, He quickly writes all their sins in the sand.
- But it was Jesus’ silence that attracted them to what He was writing. Finally, just left is the woman and Jesus.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 — She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
- Jesus asks the woman, where is everyone? No one has condemned you? And she replied – No man.
- But before she can run off as well, thinking that she was scot free, Jesus gives us the most important lesson in this encounter.
- He says – neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.
First, Jesus says I don’t condemn you either. It isn’t because Jesus is NOT without sin that He is saying that I don’t condemn you or I can’t condemn you. He wasn’t putting Himself in the same boat as all those men that left because they had sin in their lives.
- Jesus was sinless, the spotless Lamb of God who would take away the sin of this world.
- Why does He say neither do I condemn you? Because He would have power to forgive the woman. He could read the woman’s heart that she wanted to be set free from this life of sin, from working as a prostitute. And Jesus had the authority to say that because He was going to die on the cross and give everyone that opportunity to change!
- He was ready to take upon Himself her sin! That’s why He says neither do I condemn you.
But He doesn’t stop there. He balances it off by saying – Go and sin no more. He doesn’t gloss over what she has done. She really had sinned! That’s why Christ has to say – sin no more. He called sin exactly what it was.
- Jesus said – I don’t condemn you, but it doesn’t mean you can keep sinning. He wasn’t excusing her from her sin. He wasn’t trying to minimize what she had done even though she had been caught in the very act and dragged through the streets, publicly humiliated!
- What she had done was sin. And Christ says – go and sin no more. I want you to stop living this life right now! He didn’t say – I give you 1 month, or 1 week to get your act together. He said – when you leave, you leave a changed person. GO and sin NO MORE!
- His act of mercy, His act of grace in not condemning her was the power in which she could change. In those words – Go and sin no more, was power to change! This was the standard that Christ set for her. SIN NO MORE!
- And Christ gives us that same standard today as well. And not only that, but He gives us the same power today! We can find victory in Christ today, in His words, in His saving grace!
In Christ’s words is the very power to keep you from sinning. How soon? Right this very moment!
- Jude 24-25
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
- Christ can give us that power right now. It doesn’t matter how long you have been struggling with sin. He has the power. He has ALL power! And all we need to do today is to ask and He will give us the victory.
May you find the victory in Christ today. Through His forgiving grace, and through the power of the word and the power of Jesus’ presence abiding in your heart.